Saturday, November 12, 2022 from 10:00am to 4:00pm PST

Sunday, November 13, 2022 from 10:00am to 4:00pm PST


This is an online event. 



Paula Weinberger 
Great Books Council of San Francisco 

Great Books Council of San Francisco Poetry Weekend 2022

November 12-13, 2022 on Zoom


This year’s theme is Why Poetry?

Identifying poetry used to be easy. There were typical rhyme and meter schemes and topics deemed suitable for poetry. Like all genres, poetry has continued to evolve as poets innovate to create new forms and break old rules. This brings us to this year’s theme, what makes a poem a poem? What distinguishes a prose poem from prose? Why choose poetry over prose or vice versa? These questions and more will be the focus of the upcoming Poetry Weekend. We are delighted to have as our guest presenter, the esteemed poet and teacher Dorianne Laux who will explore with us the elements that are unique to poetry.


Saturday, November 12 - Attendees will discuss a wide range of poems led by a trained facilitator. A packet of the poems to be discussed will be sent upon registration.

Saturday a.m. - Transitions 

Saturday p.m. – Finding the Center 

  • Facts About the Moon by Dorianne Laux  
  • Big Black Car by Lynn Emanuel 
  • Elegy with a Chimneysweep Falling Inside It by Larry Levis 
  • Elegy for the Disappeared by Forrest Gander  
  • This’ll hurt me more by Camille T. Dungy


  • The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens 
  • Hummingbird Abecedarian by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  • Track by Tomas Tranströmer 
  • Advice to a Prophet by Richard Wilbur 
  • Transfigurations by Arthur Sze  



Extra: Immediately following the afternoon session there will be an Open Mic led by Dorianne. It’s a chance to read a poem of your own or  share a favorite. 

Sunday, November 13 – In the morning, guest presenter Dorianne Laux will lead an interactive workshop probing the poetic process from the perspective of poet and reader.

In the afternoon, Dorianne will read a selection of her poems. As always, there will be lots of time for your questions.

Tuition: $50

To learn more about Great Books programs go to  greatbooksncal.com

More about Dorianne Laux.

Dorianne Laux’s sixth collection, Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected Poems was named a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her fifth collection, The Book of Men, was awarded The Paterson Prize. Her fourth book of poems, Facts About the Moon, won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also the author of Awake; What We Carry, a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Smoke; as well as a fine small press edition, The Book of Women. She is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. You can find more information at: www.doriannelaux.net .